Sunday 11 August 2019 Paulin Ground, Winchmore Hill
WINCHMORE HILL TIGERS 183-8 (Patel 36*, Byrne 3-18)
PLASTICS XI 186-2 (Bishop 75*, Webster 61*)
The Tigers fell to their heaviest defeat of the season against new opponents Plastics XI from south-west London, beaten by 8 wickets with 9 overs to spare, after failing to build on their excellent batting form of the previous week on the same square.
Predictions for this contest were sketchy – the only guide being that the visitors had previously lost in 2019 to regular Tiger opponents The Gentlemen of West London and Railway Taverners. They were punctual, personable and resplendent in their pink caps and numbered shirts, with plenty of vibrant pre-match practice.
However, early perceptions can be deceptive; described on their own website as ‘weak-weak’ (the Tigers’ teeth should have been too long to fall for that!) the Plastics team were young and fit, fielded brilliantly, took all their big catches, bowled well and dominated most of the game. The Tigers struggled against an almost impenetrable ring and a well stretched, slow outfield, having made five changes from the previous week, with Ravi Sondh and Samit Patel (on loan from Mayfield) and veteran ‘keeper Phil Parr making their first appearances of 2019, bringing this year’s roster up to 46. Chris Wright took over as captain with Matt Webster away surfing in Cornwall.
The Tiger innings got off to another poor start (48-4 after 14 overs), the carelessness of the early batsmen having to be bailed out once more by the lower-middle order. All eight batsmen dismissed were caught (in fact all ten wickets on the day fell to catches). Only Chris Wright can consider himself unlucky, his mighty hit to the longest boundary looking a certain six before being held up in the wind and reeled in by long-on; the others batters just lost patience or didn’t show any at all.
The innings recovery centered around Ali Sikander (31) and a brave knock from Emile Nawagamuwa (24), the latter having spent the previous afternoon in A & E following a nasty blow to the face batting for Winchmore Hill 3rd XI, but the best partnership came for the eighth wicket (49 in the last 9 overs) between Samit Patel (top-scoring at No.9) and Jack Goodrich (13), the only batsman to show any real composure. The final total of 183 looked reasonable in the circumstances.
Any demons their might have been in the wicket seemed to have disappeared by the time Tigers came to bowl. None of the seven bowlers used could make any inroads, with only Ravi Sondh (1 for 27 in his 8 overs) putting any brake on the Plastics’ batsmen, all the rest going for more than a run a ball. The same pitch had seen almost 100 overs the day before and was dying rapidly. Anderson was unlucky to be given out caught behind (sadly no VAR available), but Bishop and Webster put together an unbeaten stand of 94 as the visitors coasted home with plenty to spare, one mighty blow clearing the trees and crashing into someone’s car! Ooops! A heavy downpour came too late to rescue the Tigers on this occasion.